Benjamin Kallos (born February 5, 1981) is an American attorney and politician who represents the 5th district of the New York City Council. He is a Democrat. The district includes East Harlem, Midtown, Murray Hill, Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Early life and education
Kallos was born in Florida. He attended Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School. He then attended Bronx High School of Science, SUNY Albany as an undergraduate, and SUNY Buffalo School of Law.
He has served as a Manhattan Community Board 8 public member and statewide coordination committee chair for the New York Democratic Lawyers Council. He was also chief of staff for New York State Assemblymember Jonathan Bing, director of policy for then New York City Public Advocate Mark J. Green, and executive director of New Roosevelt.
New York City Council
On September 10, 2013, Kallos won the Democratic primary for the 5th New York City Council District, receiving 46% of the vote to Micah Kellner's 39% and Ed Hartzog’s 15%. He won the general election on November 5, 2013 and assumed office on January 1, 2014. On December 7, 2015, Kallos introduced legislation to create an affordable housing internet portal.
On November 5, 2017, Kallos won reelection to another term with 81% of the vote. On March 22, 2018, Kallos introduced legislation to raise the cap on public funds received by participating candidates to establish a full public matching system that matches every small dollar donated by New York City residents at a rate of 8 to 1.
Kallos was ranked as the sixth-best lawmaker in New York City by City & State. He chairs the Committee on Contracts and is a member of the committees on Education, Governmental Operations, Oversight and Investigations, and Women and Gender Equity.
Kallos has advocated against the construction of new housing in New York City, arguing "New Yorkers are exhausted by overdevelopment." He has pushed for changes to zoning laws in New York that would make zoning more stringent.
Campaign for Manhattan Borough President
Kallos ran in the primary for the Democratic nomination in the 2021 Manhattan borough president election, finishing fourth. In the first round, Kallos received 13% of votes, putting him in third place. He was eliminated in the sixth round of the ranked-choice voting process.